Photographic Collection now online at Families in British India Society website

http://www.new.fibis.org/archives/694The Families in British India Society is well known for it’s quality genealogy website focusing on those British ancestors who lived and work in India. The society announced recently that they have been allowed to place online the John Morgan collection of photographs taken in the 19th & 20th century in India.

John Morgan is a collector of material which he then hires out to film & TV as props. Amongst his wide ranging collection are three photograph albums, all labelled and taken in India. What a find! John was kind enough to allow the society to have them reproduced and uploaded onto their website.

The photos are free for everyone to browse through, but exclusive to FIBIS members are two indexes which allows much quicker access to those photos which are of interest. Membership is £15 per year for UK members and a few £’s more for European or Worldwide based members.

This collection is a joy to browse through, the photographs are very evocative of a world that is no more.

http://www.new.fibis.org

Trade Directories covering Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire & Worcestershire

Trade directoriesAncestry.co.uk have added to their Trade Directories collection with directories which cover the Midland counties of Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. This release adds another 350 trade directories to the already large collection on offer.

These books can be a great help when compiling a family history.

What are Trade Directories?

Trade directories vary depending on the company which compiled them, but at their best they start with a description of city, town or village including vital information as to when the post box is emptied to when the last train leaves the local station for the day. The parts that gets genealogists excited are the listing of all the tradesmen in the town and also often a street by street listing of who is the main householder in each dwelling.

Some directories charged tradesmen to have an entry in the directory so you can’t be sure that everyone is included and it is best to bear in mind that often there was a gap of up to a year between the gathering of the information and the printing and distribution of the directory.

The directories date from the 1600’s to the 1900’s. The earlier ones have less information and are quite rare, but the Victorian period 1837 – 1901 offers many good examples.

What will I find in Trade Directories?

Below are three screen shots of details that can be discovered using the directories. The first is a transcript of a directory of Bristol dated around the 1790’s. The second is a scan of the original page of the entry for Mevagissey, Cornwall taken from The Universal British Directory 1791. The third is taken from the 1850 Bagshaw’s Directory of Cheshire.

Ancestry.co.uk Directories

 

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Where will I find Trade Directories?

Ancestry.co.uk have an extensive collection of directories and it is well worth checking to see if your ancestors feature in the pages.

www.ancestry.co.uk

 

Victoria County Histories

Victoria County Histories GenealogyThe series of books known as the Victoria County Histories are a goldmine for family historians and those interested in local history. The series started in 1899 and the project was dedicated to Queen Victoria hence the name. It was a massive undertaking to write a complete history of the land, places and prominent people of each English county, but the Victorian were ambitious people and obviously the founders of the VCH thought it could be completed. I think they would be surprised to find that the project is still being worked on and completion is a little way off.

The model for each county was that the topography, geology, flora, fauna and history would be covered, each area was to be written by a eminent specialist and the books were to be scholarly. Each set of county books ran into several volumes and most large libraries subscribed and still subscribe to the series.

What is in Victoria County Histories for the genealogist?

The volumes of interest are the ones in which the county is broken down into parishes. Each parish contains a history dating back as far as it is possible to go, even back to the Domesday Book of 1086 if it was recorded. There is mention made of prominent buildings such as the vicarage or rectory, the manor house and other landowners homes.

The history and lists of the inhabitants of the manor or manors within the parish, and theNorton Manor House Genealogy history and incumbents of the church. Mention is also made of any chapels attached to the parish church and also any non conformist meeting houses or chapels. Descriptions of charities set up to administer monies and properties left, often for the relief of the poor of the parish, in the wills of parishioners are recorded. Mention might also be made of any mills and fisheries within the parish.

There are also often sketch drawings of the church, manor house, coats of arms etc.

Where can Victoria County Histories be found?

Most major libraries will have the histories for their county and some may have a complete run of all counties published so far. County Record Offices will almost certainly also have copies. Copies of the histories can be purchased from the Institute of Historical Research who now run the project. However the cost per volume can be as much as £100.

British History Online

The British History Online website offers copies of the volumes on the internet free of charge and this is the main source that most genealogists use. Simply put the name of the parish you are interested in the search box on the front page of the web site, click and then scroll down the list of hits and chose the one that says “A History of the County of …..”. This will take you to the relevant page.

These histories will give you much valuable background information on the parishes in which your ancestors lived and worked. Occasionally you may even find your ancestors named and if they were holders of manorial rights then a line of succession to those rights will be listed. Take a look at these parish histories and I am sure you will soon be including them in your files for all your families.

http://www.victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk/

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/Default.aspx

Black Country Genealogy

Black Country GenealogyThis website is one of seven connected websites that are a real treasure house of information for those with family from the Black Country. As I understand it the Black Country is comprised of West Bromwich, Oldbury, Blackheath, Cradley Heath, Old Hill, Bilston, Dudley, Tipton, Wednesfield and parts of Halesowen, Wednesbury and Walsall.

These sites contain images (almost 5,000 of them!), parish records, monumental inscriptions and much, much more. I couldn’t see who is the author of these sites, but whoever they are they are definitely a “Genealogy Hero” !!

http://www.blackcountrygenealogyandfamilyhistory.co.uk/

 

Parish Mouse

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Until now the only time I have come across a parish mouse is when I have been handling original registers and found nibbling around the edges and a certain, distinctive mousey odour !!

However today I have come across the Parish Mouse website where this particular mouse is putting online transcripts from historical books that he/she has collected over the years. What a lovely idea and how generous of the Mouse to share with fellow family historians.

I had a look around the site, but couldn’t find a name for Parish Mouse, does anyone know who it is ?

http://parishmouse.co.uk/

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